Misusing Ozempic for weight loss affects people who actually need it

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – There’s a growing concern in the medical community: the misuse of the diabetic drug Ozempic, for rapid weight loss in people who are not diabetic.

A pharmacist warns that using this medication without a medical need can lead to serious side effects and potential health risks for the users and true diabetics.

Ozempic for weight loss was trending on Tik Tok until there was a nationwide shortage of the diabetic medication.

The drug is primarily prescribed to help manage blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Even though the injection requires a prescription, people who only want it to shed some pounds are finding loopholes.

“A lot of the weight loss patients were getting this from telemedicine. Use your credit card and pay for their online service. So Sure we’ll give you a prescription for Ozempic. Which pharmacy do you want it sent to? One box of Ozempic, our cost is like a thousand dollars. That’s four shots so it’s pretty pricey,” said Pharmacist Robert White, Robert’s Apothecary.

White said he’s seen first-hand how the misuse of this medication affects his customers at Robert’s Apothecary who actually have a medical need.

“We have actually had diabetics that could not get their doses of Ozempic,’ he said. “They had to use something else until we could get it in. There’s a similar drug that comes in multiple strengths and we just continually have back orders for various strengths and diabetics are just scrambling trying to keep their diabetes under control,” said White.

Side effects of Ozempic include loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and nausea. The Federal Drug Administration has had to step in and curb access to this medicine for people who do not need it.

“The regulations have come down, even just last week from the FDA. We can not dispense Ozempic or similar medications to patients unless the prescription actually has type 2 diabetes as the diagnosis,” said White.

There are safer alternatives for weight loss. Talk to your doctor before using any prescription drugs that are not intended for their primary use.

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